UPR Session 31
Review Date: 8 November 2018
New and amended laws provide the authorities with excessive powers to restrict freedom of expression, especially online.
The Jordanian authorities have stepped up media control since the previous UPR cycle, especially with regard to online media. The overhaul of the Press and Publications Law in 2012, and the implementation of Cybercrimes Law (2015) and its 2018 amendments significantly curtail freedom of expression.
In June 2016, university professor Amjad Qourshah was detained in connection with a video published on his Facebook page in 2014, which criticised Jordan’s participation in the US-led coalition’s intervention in Syria. In August 2016, author Nahed Hattar was detained and charged with insulting religion for publishing a cartoon critical of Islamic State on his Facebook page.
The Qourshah and Hattar cases are two of a growing list of gag orders imposed by the Jordan Media Commission. Gag orders are increasingly used to restrict the dissemination of information or artistic expression that would be of public interest, and currently undermine freedom of expression standards.
The Jordanian government supported 75% of the 291 recommendations they received during their 1st and 2nd cycle UPR sessions.
The number of recommendations made to Jordan during the 1st and 2nd cycles that explicitly cover freedom of expression online or digital rights.
The number of recommendations made to Jordan during the 1st and 2nd cycles that implicitly cover freedom of expression online or digital rights.